Govt says electricity to be restored by 10 PM across the country

Minister for Energy Khurram Dastgir said on Monday that electricity across the country would be fully restored by 10 pm after a major power breakdown — triggered by “frequency variation” in the national grid — hit Pakistan.

The grid should be fully functioning by 10 pm, Dastgir told Reuters, adding: “We are trying our utmost to achieve restoration before that.”

In a televised address around 5 pm, the minister said that there had been a widespread power breakdown in the country, adding that officials were working on restoring electricity.

“Today at 7:34 am, there was unusual voltage and frequency fluctuation in the North-South transmission corridor because of which the national grid’s system frequency was affected and a widespread breakdown was caused.”

He said that the country’s transmission system had not been affected but explained that electricity was required to get power plants and dams up and running.

Talking about the steps taken to address the outage, he said that there was a power plant in Uch which was currently operational. He said that power generated from the plant, which was providing electricity to several areas in Sindh, was also being diverted to Balochistan and parts of Punjab.

He further said that electricity from the Thar coal power project was partially being provided to K-Electric which was working on restoring operations.

He assured the nation that he was personally overseeing the matter at the National Power Control Centre (NPCC) and that the officials concerned were working hard to restore power. He expressed the hope that power would be restored across the country by nighttime.

The minister said that the National Transmission and Despatch Company (NTDC) had been directed, on the orders of the prime minister, to get all power plants up and running even if they were dependent on expensive furnace oil. He further said a three-member team had been formed by the premier to probe the incident.

Separately, in a tweet, he said that electricity had been restored partially in distribution companies of Islamabad, Peshawar, Quetta, Multan and Sukkur.

According to the Ministry of Energy, the system of frequency of the national grid went down at 7:34 am today resulting in a widespread breakdown in the system.

“System maintenance work is progressing rapidly,” it tweeted.

The last major power outage in the country, reported in October last year, took more than 12 hours to restore. The electricity blackout took out approximately 8,000MW from the system.

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